Perak MB suspends state secretary, legal advisor

By Shannon Teoh (The Malaysian Insider)

IPOH, May 12 – The reinstated Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Perak government moved swiftly to suspend the state secretary and legal advisor in a bid to shore up its position ahead of more political manoeuvring expected in the next few days.

Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim and Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid were key players in the events of the past three months, beginning with the February 5 putsch by Barisan Nasional (BN) which led to the current political imbroglio.

After the High Court yesterday affirmed Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful mentri besar, the PR exco met late last night into the early hours of this morning to decide on its next plan of action.

Until further notice, state financial officer Datuk Jamaluddin Al-Amini Ahmad will be acting state secretary while the post of legal advisor will remain vacant with PR using its own lawyers for the time being.

Senior state executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham also added that while the state secretary and legal advisor were federal officers, they were merely “seconded for our use” and the state government had the power to suspend them and appoint acting officers.

Nizar corrected earlier reports saying that he would have an audience tomorrow with the regent, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, at today’s investiture ceremony in the Kuala Kangsar palace, explaining that he would only be attending as his first formal duty since his reinstatement.

“We will send a letter to the Sultan to seek an audience to ask for the dissolution of the assembly so the people can exercise their right to choose their government,” he added.

Speaking to reporters in his home last night, Nizar announced that his executive council would report for duty at 7.15am today and continue from where it left off.

He added that whatever policies – including the appointment of village chiefs and local authorities and the awarding of land titles – that had been decided in his 10-and-a-half-month administration would continue,

Initiatives by Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir’s team over the last three months would be reviewed, with those that benefit the people of Perak to be retained.

Nizar also confirmed that as the May 7 assembly had been called by Zambry in his capacity as mentri besar, it is now considered “unconstitutional” and, hence, Tronoh assemblyman V. Sivakumar is still the speaker.

When asked about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suggestion to work with PR on seeking a solution to the crisis in Perak, Nizar said that he was open but that “the people must come first,” consistent with Najib’s 1 Malaysia slogan.

“The people want a dissolution so that must be fulfilled and then we can talk,” he said, adding that he was confident that if fresh elections were called, the anger of the people after the February 5 coup and the May 7 assembly, which saw Sivakumar manhandled out of the Speaker’s chair, would see PR returned with a larger majority.

Nizar also expressed confidence that the palace would assent to the dissolution since the Regent had told him that he would cooperate with them after the May 7 assembly.

“My relationship with Tuanku is very intimate. He spoke to me all the way as we led him out and did not talk at all to Zambry.

“He shook hands with all of us, and you know who was last?” he asked rhetorically, knowing that reporters had seen that it was Zambry who was last.